Rare Sumatran Tiger Cub Born in the UK Cuddles with Mom in Adorable Photos

In a heartwarming scene, a precious six-week-old Sumatran tiger cub cuddles and receives affectionate licks from its mother, Surya. Born in a North Yorkshire zoo, this adorable cub is one of the world’s rarest big cats.

Previously featured in the Daily Mail when it was just five days old, the cub’s sex remains unknown. However, zookeepers are thrilled with its development.

This week, the cub ventured out of its den to explore for the first time, captured by photographer Bruce Adams.


Born with its eyes closed, like all tigers, the cub now showcases mesmerizing blue eyes. Its playful antics, such as rolling in the straw and seemingly waving its paw, make it the apple of its mother’s eye.

Cat’s cradle: The six-week-old Sumatran tiger cub snuggles up in its mother’s arms at Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire. Source: Daily Mail

The cub’s birth has generated excitement as Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, potentially only 400 remaining in the world.

At first, the cub could only muster a yawn between naps in the secure den it shares with its parents, Surya and Bawa, at Flamingo Land Zoo near Kirby Misperton village.


Now, the cub has started practicing its prowl and showing signs of teeth growth, gnawing on the wooden sides of the den. Once fully grown, it will have a formidable set of razor-sharp teeth. Zookeeper Martin Lees shared, “The cub has probably tripled in size and has been having a little bit of a stumble about.”

Hello, world! The cub appears to give a wave as it rolls around in the straw in the secure den it shares with its parents. Source: Daily Mail

The cub will not be handled until it’s eight weeks old, when it will be weighed, sexed, and given an identity chip, followed by a name based on sex. Its eyes will turn yellow, like its parents’, during adolescence.

The tiger family will live together until the cub is around 18 months old, when the group dynamics will be assessed for potential separation.


Surya and the laid-back Bawa arrived at the zoo seven years ago, contributing to the conservation efforts for this subspecies. In 2014, they had triplets.

The cub’s birth has caused a lot of excitement because Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, with as few as 400 left in the world. Source: Daily Mail
Other than in zoos, tigers are only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Source: Daily Mail
The cub with its proud parents, father Bawa, right, and Surya. All three will stay living as a group at least until the cub is around 18 months old. Source: Daily Mail

Wild Sumatran tigers only inhabit the Indonesian island of Sumatra, with their numbers dwindling from around 1,000 in the 1970s.

Deforestation-induced habitat loss and poaching remain significant threats to their survival. These tigers are among the rarest and smallest tiger breeds, typically measuring up to 8ft when fully grown, which is 2ft shorter than Bengal tigers. They are also excellent swimmers, thanks to webbing between their toes.

Sumutra Tiger numbers have fallen from around 1,000 in the 1970s and are continuing to decline. Source: Daily Mail
The cub’s eyes will turn yellow, like its parents’, when it reaches adolescence. There are also signs its teeth are growing as it has started gnawing on the den’s wooden sides. Source: Daily Mail

Read more Wildlife News.